Commitment to the CFA exam is the first step and it’s a very important one as we discussed but it is only the start and step 2 is getting your material. You do not need a ton of things, but getting everything early on will enable you to start your studying according to plan. What you need is:
-Register for the exam early: By doing so, you will pay the early fee (lesser amount) but that also means you will be getting the study plan (learning outcome statements) as well as the official books from the CFA institute earlier. It is a lot of money and some will tend to delay as much as possible but since you will end up paying anyway, I would do it as early as possible
-Official calculator: As you might already know, the CFA institute has restrictions on the type of calculator that you can use for your exam. I would recommend buying it as early as possible in order to get used to it. It seems obvious but I’ve heard of many stories where candidates had practiced on another calculator and then lost time in the exam trying to use certain functions.
-Schweser material: The company is the leader in CFA studying material and while there are many different ways of going through the material, our preferred way is through Schweser guidebooks. We will be writing more about it in our guide to studying but I really think that studying both the official books and Schweser material is necessary.
-Other material: You will want to have a notebook to take notes, an excel spreadsheet to track your exam progress (more on that later)
-Highlighters: Do not even think about writing down every important aspect, I would use the highlighter as you will use less time. In any case, since the material changes every year, the chances of reselling your books for much are very slim, I would consider them study casualties. Use them with only one regard: Passing the exam!!!
-You will also need specific material for the exam but we will discuss this when you are almost ready for the exam, in November!!
–Finally and probably most important, set yourself somewhere you can most of your intense studying. You might do some reading on the bus or in the park but you will also need a calm and quiet place where you can do more intense studying, practice exams, and more. This is as critical as the actual material.